Monday, August 24, 2009

Exceptional Customer Service

On Friday I was discussing marketing in an interview and I was asked to talk about "positive customer service" that I experienced while shopping/dining.

My response....waiting....waiting....waiting...umm...

You guessed it, nothing even stood out among the repeated mediocre to poor customer service that is practiced on a daily basis.

So this weekend I really paid close attention to customer service. Here are the lowlights. My family and I waited forty-five minutes for our breakfast at an unpopular national chain restaurant. Also, I waited nearly 10 minutes at the window of drive-thru for a hamburger and fries. When I was finally served...the clerk didn't even say a single word, she just handed my bag.
While there is a definite lack of customer service today, there is certainly no shortage of talk about it. You hear and read about a company's dedication to service all the time; yeah, okay, whatever.

What if a company actually walked the talk? How would the business world change? People's shopping patterns? I know answering the question I was faced with Friday would have been a lot easier.

One positive of this; there is great opportunity for brands that can walk the talk, particularly for smaller businesses.

In my opinion the Top Five Worst Offenders are:

Fast Food
Auto Dealers
Government Entities (Post Office/Motor Vehicle Dept.)

Do you agree? Revise this list in the comments section.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Buzz Begets Buzz

I just wanted to quickly mention a great example of social marketing: AMC and its season premiere of Mad Men. People are already talking about it, so it had a trmendous amount of natural buzz that translates to social media. It's the type of thing people will facebook about it, tweet about it and talk about it; unlike say, the brand of dryer sheets they use.

It goes back to what I was saying about some stuff is great for social marketing, whereas other stuff is just not. Mad Men (and season premieres of popular television shows) are obvious examples of great uses for social marketing because the conversation is authentic. The authenticity of the buzz is key because people know advertisers are in the web 2.0 world. With natural buzz it is very clear that influencial people in a persons life care about the brand.
Advertisers can nuture the buzz to create a greater ripple effect throughout the web. Case in point the "Mad Men Yourself" game. I noticed a friend had posted his on facebook, asked him about it, found out what it was, went to the site to do one myself, and now I am here blogging about it some more. I had no idea this person was a fan of the show, so now, I'm sure it's something that we will end up discussing or buzzing about.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Positive Vibes from ESPN!

I was looking at my blog and I noticed that I had a lot of negativity going on in the last couple posts so I want to change that.

First, I want to pay a compliment to a company that I don't often give praise to, ESPN. Don't get me wrong, I watch it all the time but it has become a bit stale this last couple years. Without going into details, I just am I longing for the good ol' days of Kenny Mayne, Rich Eisen and Dan Patrick.

One show I still watch a lot it Pardon the Interruption, with Tony K and Mike W, and recently they began doing something I think is brilliant. Well, a couple weeks ago I noticed that they were cutting into commercials to the guys just talking off-air. At first, I thought it was a mistake and someone was asleep in the control room. Just yesterday I was watching and I found myself waiting for the cut-in and I realized, wow, I'm interested in this 5 second clip and it was enough to keep me around.

Then it hit me, damn, that is smart. They have a tiny teaser during the break to keep the viewer interested, and it worked on me. ESPN...i give you a lot of credit for this.